Smart-Girl Programming Makes Girls into Successful Women

Smart-Girl Programming pic Adolescence can be a confusing time, and challenges like overcoming body image pressure and peer coercion often make life difficult for teens. However, thanks to the efforts of Smart-Girl, a Colorado nonprofit organization, more than 7,000 teens and pre-teens have received the training they need to tackle these issues and develop inner strength. Featuring programs for both middle school and early high school students and workshops for young adults, Smart-Girl provides a comprehensive education in being a healthy, confident, and self-actualized woman.

Featuring small-group programs that bring a dozen girls together with older graduates of the program and an adult coach, the Smart-Girl program generally takes place weekly at participating schools. The organization also sponsors a Smart-Girl Leadership Summer Camp for students in the greater Denver area, as well as programming for college undergraduate and graduate students through the Smart-Girl Leadership Institute. With backing from the Colorado School Counselor’s Association Conferences and the National School Counselor’s Association, Smart-Girl has expanded to the Smart-Boy program to offer its innovative curriculum to male students.

Urban Peak Bike Program Empowers Youth through Transportation

Urban Peak Bike Program pic Urban Peak Colorado Springs offers a number of services for youth at risk of or currently facing homelessness. In addition to operating a 20-bed shelter for individuals aged 15 to 21, the nonprofit provides programs aimed at supporting youth on the journey to self-sufficiency. This support system includes the Urban Peak bike program, which provides a bicycle, helmet, and lock to youth who volunteer within the local community.

After earning a bike through public service, young people benefit from the independence afforded by an economical form of transportation. Bicycle ownership provides a pathway to achieve educational goals, allowing recipients to travel to high school, college classes, or GED testing. Reliable transportation also allows youth to secure and maintain employment. While empowering youth to achieve their goals and overcome challenges, Urban Peak’s bicycle program also promotes a healthy lifestyle and introduces bicycle recipients to the responsibility of ownership.

In addition to providing bikes, Urban Peak Colorado Springs helps young people learn to use them safely. Volunteers provide instruction on basic bicycle safety and repair and offer ongoing assistance to the program’s bicycle owners.

Fans Help USA Pro Challenge Determine Stage 6 Route

USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 pic After the USA Pro Challenge determined most of the cities that would host stages for its 2015 race, it opened the final choices up to fan input before completing the list. Thousands of race fans provided opinions through the race’s website and Facebook, and the survey led to a list of more than 20 options for cities to host the beginning and end of the sixth and penultimate stage. As organizers sorted through the submissions, they realized that close to half of the votes called for a route in Northern Colorado.

In the end, the Challenge scheduled a return to two familiar cities. The sixth stage of the race, which will take place on August 22, will begin in Loveland and end in Fort Collins. The decision was made for a number of reasons, including the great cycling available in Northern Colorado and the opportunity to return to an area that experienced extensive flood damage in 2013. Race organizers hope that bringing the Challenge back to Northern Colorado will help the region continue its recovery.

Most of the other stages in the 2015 Challenge will take place in the mountains, with early stages occurring in and around ski towns like Breckenridge, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs. The final stage of the race, to be held the day after the Loveland-to-Fort Collins stage, will begin in Golden and end in Denver.

How to Contribute to Nexus Recovery Center

Nexus Recovery Center logo pic Those looking to support Nexus Recovery Center and its mission to help adolescents, women, and children in Dallas, Texas, recover from addiction and chemical dependency can assist the nonprofit in a number of ways. Monetary donations provide valuable support, and people who volunteer their time also have a major impact on the organization.

Financial donations allow Nexus to serve thousands of women and hundreds of children every year. Donors can give monthly or one-time gifts, including gifts in honor or in memory of someone. Nexus also accepts donations of items and stock, and monetary gifts are often matched by foundations to stretch donor dollars.

Volunteers also represent an essential part of Nexus’ operations. There are numerous ways to help out by giving time, but Nexus has a particular need for long-term volunteers. Classroom helpers aid teachers from the Dallas Independent School District as they conduct lessons for Nexus’ adolescent program. Nexus also needs volunteers to provide emotional support and monthly enrichment to teenage girls through a mentoring program. Because of the nature of their work, both classroom helpers and mentors must make a one-year commitment.

Nexus also has opportunities for short-term volunteerism; the organization often needs general office help and volunteers to accompany new clients on trips to Parkland Hospital. Additional information can be found at

Urban Nights 2015 Encourages Guests to be Grateful

Urban Nights outdoor fashion show pic The third annual Urban Nights outdoor fashion show benefiting Urban Peak, a Colorado-based nonprofit serving homeless youth, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 29, at Denver’s Mile High Station. Volunteer models will showcase the creations of many of Colorado’s most popular up-and-coming designers on a 200-foot stage—the state’s longest fashion runway. For the second consecutive year, the event will feature the designs of Mondo Guerra, the winner of Project Runway All-Stars. Inspired by the artwork of Urban Peak youth, he will design an exclusive collection of avant-garde pieces especially for the occasion.

Urban Nights 2015 will draw inspiration from the theme “#grateful,” a concept that not only recognizes the daily struggles surmounted by youth facing homelessness, but also acknowledges the generous support offered by Urban Nights attendees and patrons. Promoting the idea that all individuals have reasons for gratitude, Urban Nights urges attendees to seize the opportunity to celebrate the good in their lives.

Additionally, Urban Nights will provide a venue at which Urban Peak can confer its annual Urban Legend Award to Carrie Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation. Ms. Morgridge will receive the honor in recognition of her philanthropic leadership, which, for more than 15 years, has benefited organizations such as the University of Denver, Mile High United Way, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.